Oral Answers to Questions — Pentonville Prison Disturbances (Inquiry).

– in the House of Commons on 4th February 1926.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

22.

asked the Home Secretary whether he can publish the Report of the inquiry held into the incident which took place in His Majesty's prison at Pentonville on Sunday, 24th January; whether such inquiry was held by a member of the Prison Commission Department of the Home Office or by some independent person; whether anyone is charged with presenting the case for the prisoners at such inquiries and of putting questions to witnesses on their behalf; and whether arrangements are made to transfer to other prisons prisoners who have given evidence at such inquiries inculpating the prison authorities?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

Reports of prison enquiries are made for my personal information and not for publication. The inquiry was held by a Commissioner of Prisons. It is the duty of the Commissioner or Inspector holding such inquiries to see that every prisoner's defence is properly brought out. If for any reason whatever it should appear to be desirable to transfer a prisoner, that would be done.

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of appointing independent persons in certain cases to investigate such a state of affairs, without casting any aspersion on the excellence of the Prison Commissioners? Can he say whether, in point of fact, prisoners have been transferred in this particular case?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

I can reply, on that point of fact, yes, prisoners have been transferred. There is another question on the Paper with regard to the report. I have received the Report only to-day, and I have not had time to consider it. If the hon. Member puts another question next week as to the steps I propose to take on the report, I will then give him a full answer.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

25.

asked the Home Secretary if he can make any statement as to the cause or causes of the recent disturbances at Pentonville Prison, and of any steps which may have been taken to remove legitimate causes of grievances?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

I have only just received the Report on this matter, and have not yet had time to consider it